I don’t know how long you’ve been around church. If you grew up in church, you inevitably heard people talk about “the glory days” or “the good ole days.” It was a romanticized, mostly fictional memoir of the way things used to be. They were stories about how well things worked, and how great life was as a result. They never included the struggles or the drama. That had been edited out over the years.
The worst part about these tales of folk lore was the accompanying criticism of the current state of affairs. Nothing would ever live up to the glory days. They were gone, and not matter how good things are now, they will never be as good as they once were. They were chasing yesterday.
If you haven’t been a part of that kind of a conversation, consider yourself blessed. You may want to stand up and do the glory dance.
Why do I feel that way? Because I believe the exact opposite to be true.
Were there some good events back in the day? Absolutely. Are there things we should remember and celebrate? Definitely. Should we spend our lives trying to recreate that? Never! We never chase yesterday.
Now, I realize that I’m wired differently than some. I like new things. I like change. I like experiments. I like trying ideas, even if they don’t work. None of that bothers me. And I understand how many don’t like to change or try anything new. And it’s easier to simply try to recreate what has happened in the past.
But, that’s not how God wired me. And I don’t think that’s how creation works either. The world around us is always new. Every day the trees grow a little more, the earth itself grows and expands and changes. There are no two days that are the same. This is God’s design and creation.
Scripture tells us that God is in the business of new:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
In Psalm 96 we are commanded to sing a new song.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
God is in the business of new. God isn’t in the business of yesterday. God isn’t building a time machine to go back to when things were good. God never changes, but we are constantly being made new. God is faithful through the ages, but He is chipping away the old in us that is broken and replacing it with newness in the image of His Son.
Do we remember and share the deeds of the past? Absolutely. But, is God doing anything new in your life right now? Do you have anything new to share? Or are you telling the same story over and over again? Have you been chasing yesterday?
What does this have to do with anything?
Well, in church life there is a great temptation to celebrate all the successes of the past. And to try to recreate them. It’s easy to think things were the best they will ever be back in the day, and now we just have to endure to the end.
But, I don’t believe that at all. I think our best days are ahead of us. I think the biggest things God is going to do through SixEight Church are still in the future. God has done some great things. God has done some miraculous things. But they are nothing compared to what God is going to do. We have many victories to celebrate. We have many stories to share. We have seen many lives redeemed for eternity. We have seen God do great and marvelous things. But, these are not the best things we are going to see.
Yes, we need to remember and celebrate them, but we also need to be working and moving forward in faithful anticipation and expectation of what God is going to do. Because God has a mission to accomplish through us as his servants, God is going to do some really great things in our church and through our church. Not because we are smart or strategic or relevant or whatever. But because God has a mission and we are willing to go where He leads us.
I am excited!!!
It’s that time of year when we start gearing up for the fall. This is my third summer/fall at SixEight. When I look ahead of us, what I see is enormous amounts of potential. I see God drawing people to this place. I see God using us to bring people into the kingdom. I see God drawing back in those who have been disconnected and wounded by churches in their past. I see God bringing us people with skills and gifts to accomplish tasks He has in mind.
What I see in front of us are some really great days. We have lived through some wonderful times as a church. We will always rejoice over them. But there is so much more coming that we will rejoice about.
Not because of me. Not because of you. Not because of our name. But, because of His great name. Our desire is to make much of Jesus. Our motivation is to bring people into the Kingdom of God. We aren’t trying to build the kingdom of SixEight, the kingdom of David or any other manmade thing. We are actively engaged in building the Kingdom of God.
That’s an eternal Kingdom. It’s a kingdom that has power beyond our understanding. It’s been around forever and will be around for all of time. This is God’s business, this is God’s church, this is God’s agenda. This is all about Him. And as long as we keep it that way, God has great things He wants to do through us as a church.
Are you ready?
I hope you’re ready for God to do some more, awesome, new and cool stuff. Because it’s coming. Our best days are ahead of us. The glory days are still to come. The things that happen this year are the stories we will be telling next year as we anticipate another great move of God for the fall of 2016. So, prepare thineself. God is going to do something new and it’s going to be awesome!
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
It’s tomorrow time. We are chasing what God wants to do tomorrow. I want you to be looking for tomorrow in your own life. I am looking for tomorrow in my life. What is it that God wants to do next. Stop chasing yesterday and start chasing tomorrow.